Tourism in Cambodia is one of the most important sectors in Cambodia’s economy. In 2013, tourism arrivals increased by 17.5 percent year on year, with business travelers increasing 47 percent.
Cinemas: Since the encouragement from the Ministry of Fine Arts and Culture and the Cambodian people strongly support to the Khmer films, most abandoned cinemas have been re-open. Recently, the Khmer films is very popular for Cambodian people not only in city but also provinces. The Khmer movies can be seen around the city at the main street – such as Luxe Cinema – Norodom blvd., Platinum Cineplex – Level 5 Sorya Shopping Center, Legend Cinema – City Mall…
Platinum Cineplex is your ultimate international movie destination, bringing you a wide selection of exclusive and entertaining movies from around the world, taking you beyond Hollywood, Local and Domestic. Moreover it is fasten by 7.1-channel surround system has seven discrete, full-range channels of sound—Left, Right, Center, Left Surround, Right Surround, Left Back, and Right Back—plus a subwoofer that delivers high end quality sound only.
Movie Houses: English language movies shown in private viewing rooms at Movie Street Video Center, #116, Sihanouk blvd., The French Cultural Center (Street 184) hosts French films at 6:30PM every few days. The Russian Market (Toul Tom Pong) carries the most recent movies CDs.
Nightclubs: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville is the place for disco nightlife. There are many clubs that see a good mix of locals and foreigners, like Rock, Spark, LV… Nightlife in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap tends to begin fairly late – an 9 pm start is usual, after a leisurely meal and some drinks at a bar. Drink prices can be steep, but you can always pop outside and get a swift half from a street seller.
Outside Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, nightlife is dominated by Khmer nightclubs. These are basically ‘hostess clubs’ aimed at men, but it is no problem for foreign women to enter. They have a live band and are a good place to learn a bit about Khmer dancing.
Traditional Dance: Public performances of Khmer traditional dance are few and far between. The places to find are at Cambodian Living Art, few hotel in Phnom Penh and most local restaurants and some hotels in Siem Reap like Angkor Village Theatre, Kulen II Restaurant, Angkor Century Hotel, Mekong Restaurant, Mondial Restaurant… Check the local English-language newspapers for news of upcoming events.
Pubs & Bars: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville are best place for pubs and bars. You can find easily, the popular pub and bars are located along the Sisovath Quay (Along Riverside), Pub Street near Old Market area in Siem Reap and Ocheuteal Beach in Sihanoukville. Elsewhere around Cambodia, drinking takes places at street stalls, in restaurants and in nightclubs.
Most Cambodians dress up casually except when they are attending formal events. It is common to see men and women using Krama, a Long, Narrow checked cotton cloth round their neck. The krama is just like a piece of clothe.
Lightweight, loose-fitting, cotton clothing is recommended and long-sleeved items should be included for protection from mosquitoes and the sun. During the rainy season an umbrella is more convenient than a rain coast. A jacket may be needed in hotels and restaurants using excessive air-conditioning.
Textiles: There are three important silk textiles in Cambodia. They include the ikat silks (chong kiet in Khmer), or hol, the twill-patterned silks and the weft ikat textiles. Patterns are made by tying natural and synthetic fibers on the weft threads and then it is dyed. It is repeated for different colors until the patterns firm and cloth is woven. Traditionally, five colors are used. Red, yellow, green, blue and black are the most used. The Sampot Hol is used as a lower garment and as the sampot chang kben. The Pidan Hol is used as a ceremonial hanging used for religious purposes.
Sot silk weaving has been an important part of Cambodia’s cultural past. It has been documented that people from Takéo Province have woven silk since the Funan era and records, bas-relief and Zhou Daguan’s report have shown that looms were used to weave sampots since ancient times. Since ancient times, women have learned highly complex methods and intricate patterns, one of which is the hol method. It involves dying patterns on silk before weaving. What remains unique to Cambodian weavers is the uneven twill technique, the reason remains unclear why they adopted such an unusual method. The ancient bas-reliefs however provides a complete look at how fabrics were like, down to patterns and pleats. Silk woven pieces are used as heirlooms, in weddings and funerals, and as decoration in temples.
Sampot: The sampot is the national garment of Cambodia. The traditional dress is similar to those worn in the neighboring countries of Laos and Thailand, but variations do exist between the countries. The sampot dates back to the Funan era when a Cambodian king allegedly ordered the people of his kingdom to wear the sampot at the request of Chinese envoys.
There are many variations for the sampot, each is washed according to social class. The typical sampot, known also as the sarong is typically worn by men and women of lower class. It measures approximately one and a half meters and both ends are sewn together. It is tied to safely secure it on the waist.
Kroma – Khmer Scarf: Beneath the warm Cambodian sun, a person’s productivity relies heavily upon the suitability of one’s dress. Since little is accomplished in blisteringly hot clothes, Khmer people for generations have tied kromas around their waists to work and play in cool comfort.
The Khmer scarf, woven from cotton or silk, has been a fashion staple since Ancient times. While some claim the thin cloth, wrapped around one’s head or neck, is used primarily to wipe the sweat from a hot face, others say wearing a kroma is as ‘Khmer’ as wearing a necktie is American.Srey Yar Savdy, head of the Buddhist Institute’s Mores and Tradition Department in Phnom Penh said that the kroma has had a home in Cambodia since the first century reign of Preah Bath Hun Tean. It is not clear when exactly the kroma hit the streets, but it has been a symbol of the Khmer kingdom and its people ever since.
“Nowadays, people are more particular and they like to have some quality instead of the less expensive kroma they used to use,” said Channavy, the co-manager of a small weaving business. She said the demands of discerning customers have compelled her to prepare her loom with greater care in order to meticulously spin the cotton thread into a bobbin.
The advent of mobile phones has dramatically improved communications between the main towns. That said, many of the landlines destroyed during the Khmer Rouge era have yet to be replaced, and the lack of phone lines not only hinders ordinary business but also keeps Internet access costs high everywhere except Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. It’s only been a few years since mail destined for Cambodia had to be collected in Bangkok, but the postal service is now reasonably reliable, although inbound letter that attract the attention of staff-there’s no rhyme or reason to this-often get pilfered.
Mail: All Cambodia’s mail is consolidated in Phnom Penh. Sending mail from provincial cities seems as reliable as posting from the capital, though it costs a little more as you’ll be charged for your mail to go to Phnom Penh first. Within the capital itself, only the main post office is geared up to accept mail bound for abroad.
Mail to Europe, Australasian and North America takes between five and ten days to arrive, leaving Phnom Penh for major international destinations around twice a week the specific days can be checked at the main post office. Stamps for postcards sent from the capital cost 1800 Riel to Europe and Australia, 2100 Riel to America (add 300 Riel if posting from the provinces).
Parcels can only be posted in Phnom Penh, though at a whopping $17 for a one kilogramme parcel going abroad, it’s worth deferring the task if you are subsequently heading to Thailand. You’ll be charge 3000 Riel for the the customs form, detailing the contents and their value, to be completed, but it isn’t necessary to leave the package open for checking. Post offices sell mailing boxes if you need them.
Phones: You can make domestic and international calls at post offices or telecom offices in most towns. The government telecommunications network; Camintel (W) (www.camintel.com) usually runs these services, which along with the Australian firm Telstra, also runs public call boxes in Phnom Penh. To use these, you’ll need a phone card, available in denominations ranging from $2 to $50; look for shops displaying the phone cards can’t be used in each other’s facilities, but with a Tele 2 phone card, you can make international calls from any call box by dialing the access code (T) 007 (instead of the usual (T) 001), then the country code and number as usual. With any of these options, making international calls is expensive at around $3 per minute, so It’s worth looking out for deals offered by internet shops, guesthouses and travel agents, which can as much as halve the cost.
For domestic calls only, the cut-price glass-sided booths, payable to the attendant. The booths vary in their coverage of Cambodia’s various networks: accessible numbers will be written on the side of the booths (usually (T) 012 MobiTel numbers – see below – plus the local area code and sometimes other mobile providers).
Faxing is extortionate in Cambodia, at $3-$6 per page. If you really must send a fax, the hotel business central and internet shops are the most reliable place to do so.
Mobile Phones: There are five mobile phone service providers in Cambodia: MobiTel (T) 012, Beeline (T) 090, Smart Mobile (T) 010 & 016, Cube (T) 013, MetFone (T)097. MobiTel is the most widely used network and has transmitters in all major towns, although reception is still limited to within the town boundaries.
Tourists can buy Sim Card for their mobile phones at arrival terminal of all airports in Cambodia and border Checkpoint. Usage is by pre-paid phone card, available in values from $2 to $100; in most towns, you’ll find outlets displaying the logos of the various providers. When you get your card, scratch off the panel on the back to reveal your PIN, then call up the top-up number-also given on the card-and enter the number to activate the card. Call rates are around $0.20 per minute within the same mobile network number or out to a local landline.
Internet access: If you want to get online, do it in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap – here you’re never far from an Internet shop or café and rates are under $1 per hour.
Currently free Wi-Fi is available at most hotels, restaurants, Mini Mart, Café and shopping mall.
In the provinces it’s a different matter: even in Battambang and Sihanoukville access is limited, and expensive at around $3 per hour. One of the best ways to keep in touch while traveling is to sign up for a free email address that can be accessed from anywhere, for example Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Outlook or Skype or Facebook. Once you’ve set up and send mail from any Internet Café, or from a hotel with Internet access.
There are Internet Service Providers in Cambodia such as Online, AngkorNet, Mekong Net, WirelessIp, Ezecom with reasonable price. Prepaid Internet Card is available at any shops and super markets and price is starting from $5 to $100.
The restaurants and café shop like the M Café, Café Sentiment, T & C Coffee, Global Coffee, True Cofee, Kiriya Coffee and more offer free internet access with WI-FI – there you just bring your own laptop only.
CLIMATE AND WEATHER
The climate can generally be described as tropical. As the country is affected by monsoon, it is hot and humid with an overage temperature around 27.C (80.F). There are two distinct seasons: the Rainy Season and the Dry Season. However, the Dry Season is divided into two sub-seasons, cool and hot. These seasons are:
The Rainy season: From June till October 27-35.C (80-95.f)
The Dry season (cool): From November till February 17-27.C (80-95.F)
The Dry season (Hot): From March till May 29-38.C (84-100.F)
FOODS AND DRINKS
Khmer food is one of the major national identities that reflect the ways of life, thought, and mind of the Cambodian people which are hidden in the taste of consumption of meat dishes and sweet food. Cambodia has been rich in a variety of plants and crops since ancient times so that we could cook many types of foods suitable for each group of different people.
Food is one of our most basic needs. We cannot live without it. Food gives us the energy for everything we do – walking, talking, working, playing, reading, and even thinking and breathing. Food also provides the energy for our nerves, muscles, heart, and glands that need to work. In addition, food supplies the nourishing substances to our bodies requiring to build and repair tissues and to regulate body organs and systems.
All living things must have food to live. Green plants use the energy of sunlight to make food out of carbon dioxide (a gas in the air) and water and other substances from the soil. Other living things depend on the food made by green plants. The food that people and other animals eat comes chiefly from plants or from animals that eat plants. Food does more than help keep us alive, strong, and healthy. It also adds pleasure to living. We enjoy the flavors, odors, colors, and textures of foods. We celebrate special occasions with favorite meals and feasts. Favorite vegetables include beans, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, celery, lettuce, onions, peas, potatoes, and sweet corn. Vegetables are commonly eaten during the main part of a meal. They may be served raw in a salad, cooked and served with a sauce, or added to a soup.
All the famous international brands of soft drinks are available in Cambodia. Locally produced mineral water is available at 500r to 700r per bottle. Coffee is sold in most restaurants. It is either served black or with generous dollops of condensed milk, which makes it very sweet.
Chinese-style tea is popular and in many Khmer and Chinese restaurants a pot of it will automatically appear as soon as you sit down.
You can find excellent fruit smoothies all over the country, known locally as a tikalok. Just look out for a stall with fruit and a blender and point to the flavors you want. Keep an eye on the preparatory stages or you may end up with heaps of sugar and a frothy egg. On a hot day you may be tempted by the stuff in Fanta bottles on the side of the road. Think again, as it is actually petrol (gas).
The local beer are Angkor, Phnom Penh, Kingdom and Cambodia. Other brands include Heineken, Tiger, San Miguel, Asahi and Anchor. Beer sells for around US$1 to US$1.50 a can in restaurants. In Phnom Penh, foreign wines and spirits are sold at reasonable prices. The local spirits are best avoided, though some expats say that Sra Special, a local whisky-like concoction, is not bad. At around 1000r a bottle it’s a cheap route to oblivion.
Recently Cambodia can produce Grape Wine with export standard, called Prasat Phnom Banon Grape Wine, the first ever wine locally produced in Cambodia in which breeds of grape are imported from various countries such as, USA, Australia and French.
Khmer’s Red Wine is made from grape fruits and is a new product in Cambodia. Cambodia’s grape wine was recognized by OVOP National Committee as a product of One Village One Product.
Palm Juice is a traditional Cambodian drink. Research show that’s the fresh palm juice contains Vitamin B,C,D and full of minerals. To protect palm trees as a Cambodian symbol, Confirel Co., Ltd processed palm juice into many products such as palm wine, sour palm juice and palm sugar. The products were well organized and packed especially was very popular for local and international buyers.
Confirel Co., Ltd: # 34A, St 240, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Tourists can have beer or wines at many local/foreign restaurants, drink shop, hotels, clubs and many mini-marts.
Source: Tourism of Cambodia